April Habits + Monthly Review

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to another monthly review post 🙂 It’s been a busy month and I have a lot to share with you. In this post, I’ll update you on all things running, show you some of my favourite snacks, as well as my new favourite superfood, and let you in on one of my top tips for staying organized!

Monthly Catch Up

In case you’ve missed any of this months blog posts, you can catch up here. Personally, I think this has been one of my top months for blogging ever, as I’m so happy with the posts I’ve published, and you guys seem to have loved them. We’re also super close to 100 followers on the blog which is CRAZY!!!

Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

3 Eateries in London You Have To Try This Spring

Being The New Kid – How to deal with moving

What are we doing to the Earth? – Earth Day 2018

Running Update

So as you guys will know, if you read my blog or Instagram regularly, I run competitively for a Cross Country team during the winter, and in the spring I run for a Track & Field team.(I wrote about my love for running a while back) I love running because even though it’s tough, it’s so rewarding! I train roughly six times a week during season time, and to say the least, it’s tiring. In April I went to one of my biggest competitions yet for Track, in Oman and it was a great experience. I’m happy with the way I performed, but more importantly than that, it was just so eye-opening to see all the competition and to meet with other people who also love running as much as I do. It makes me want to work even harder to be able to go back next year, and hopefully run even faster!

That was my last competition of the season, and I’m done with competitively training for the rest of the year. It was so lovely to have a week off after I came back from Oman where I didn’t run one day because I was exhausted. But now I’ve started to train by myself around 3 times a week, and just to do fun workouts that I enjoy. At the moment my routine is waking up around 5:30 on weekdays and doing a quick workout. I’ve done a swim workout, which was so fun! And some other workouts based around plyometrics, as I wanted to switch it up a bit. I love this routine at the moment, as it just puts me in such a good mood for the rest of the day, and I don’t have to stress about fitting in a workout after school. But I am allowing myself to take it easy, and while I’m still working hard, I’m definitely not reaching my maximum training scale.

 

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The competition in Oman was also my first time competing in spikes!

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A photo from one of our family runs during Spring Break

 

What I’ve been eating – some snack ideas

Recently I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen and been meddling around with different ingredients. As I’m no longer running every day I don’t have to worry about consuming the right amount of carbs and proteins every day, and I’m a bit freer. I’ve also been making my water a bit more interesting, as I don’t have to worry about drinking a certain amount throughout the day, and I’ve been adding mint to the water I take to school. It’s a really nice change! We actually grow mint in our garden at home, so every morning before school I pick a few leaves, wash them, and put them into my water. Let me know what you put in your water to make it more interesting!

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I’ve also found a new favourite after-school snack, which you might have already seen on my Instagram. I am a huge snacker, and I’m pretty much constantly hungry, so I do my best to find snacks that fill me up for a long time. Avocados have been my lifesaver, they’re a healthy fat and keep me full for ages, so I’ve tried my best to incorporate them into my afternoon snack. I’ve created a little avocado dip, I guess it’s like guacamole, and I made my own chips to eat with it. So in this avocado dip, I have half an avocado, lemon, salt, coriander, a mix of sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. I mix it all together in a bowl, and grab some pita bread, cut it into triangles, and toast it until it’s crispy. (I guess you could also use regular chips) Then I can enjoy this snack while I’m studying, and it keeps me quite full for a long time!

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I’ve also been loving a new superfood, and I’m obsessed with it at the moment. It’s bee pollen! I know, might sound a little weird right? But trust me it’s amazing. As you might know, another one of my go-to snacks is a bowl of yogurt, granola, and berries (you can read more about my snacks here), and I’ve recently been adding bee pollen to this mix. I got mine from Daylesford Farms, and bee pollen are these tiny yellow spheres that taste a bit like honey, but not as sweet. I really like topping my yogurt with them because it adds that extra sweetness, without me feeling too guilty, and they have a really nice undertone. Bee pollen is also super good for you, it reduces inflammation, it’s an antioxidant, protects your liver, boosts your immune system, can be used as a supplement (because it’s full of vitamins), helps relieve stress, and promotes healing. Let me know if you’ve tried it!

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How I’ve Been Staying Organized

My last tip to share with you in this post has honestly been a lifesaver. As the school year is getting busier, with meetings and exams, there has been a lot for me to remember. And maybe I’m totally behind everyone else, but to remind myself of everything I used to just write it in my planner and hope I remembered it throughout the day. But I’ve started using the reminders app, and I’m in love. Like I said, maybe I’m really behind everyone and I’m the only person who isn’t using it, but I just discovered it and it’s so useful! It’s the regular reminders app you can get on an iPhone, and you can write yourself reminders that pop up on your phone at different times of the day, or when you reach a specific location, and they don’t go away until you complete them. This app has helped take a lot of stress off me, as I don’t have to remember everything anymore. Do you use it?

So that wraps up my April in review post, it’s been a busy month, but those are some of the important things I wanted to share with you! As always, let me know what you think in the comments, and if you try any of my recipes or tips!

See you next week

Little Miss Expat 

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March In Review – Adventures & Upcoming Projects

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another monthly review post, I’ve got a lot to share with you. In case you missed any of this months blog posts here they are, give them a read and let me know what you think:

Words From Inspirational Women

The perfect study spot – Wild & The Moon Dubai

Finding Happiness

I think this month’s posts have to be some of my favourite posts I’ve ever written. The ‘Words From Inspirational Women’ post is really meaningful makes you see a different perspective. The ‘Finding Happiness’ post that I wrote last week is also a post that is very close to my heart, and while I put my heart into all of my posts, this one is really special to me. Please do let me know what you think if you take a look at them.

In other news this month, the blog has been growing steadily, we’re almost at 80 followers at the blog (in fact, were on 79!) and we’re well on the way to 400 Instagram followers. Thank you so much to all of you who subscribe and follow me, your support is really appreciated.

If you’re a regular follower you might also have seen that I’ve been redesigning the blog a bit this month. I’ve been writing here for almost 9 months now and I seem to have finally found my style, and I’ve been trying to make the blog a bit more organized. You might have also noticed on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) my photos have also been improving, and you guys seem to have been really liking it. This is something that I’ll definitely carry on working on, especially during summer.

Speaking of content, I’ve also been doing a lot of exciting prep for some upcoming blog posts. Starting from next week, I am so excited to see what you guys think about all of them! One of them will be an in-detail post on natural beauty, with my first-hand experience of switching to natural, non-toxic makeup, where to buy your products from, and how to know what to buy. Here are some behind the scenes photos of the post…

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And another post this month will include some of the exciting, quirky places I’ve been exploring in London this spring. Be sure to subscribe to know when this post goes live!!!

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Lastly, I wanted to share some photos of an adventure I recently went on, it was to… Fujairah. Living in Dubai, it’s really easy to take a road trip on the weekend to another Emirate and find something totally unexpected. On the first day of Spring Break, we drove Fujairah and saw the Fort and some pretty amazing views. Here are some pictures of the trip:

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I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little bit about what’s been going on in my life recently, and are as excited as me for the upcoming posts!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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February In Review – Finding Balance

Woah where did February go? I can not believe we’re already 2 months into 2018, that’s crazy!!! This month has been a quick one, and I think I’ve managed to keep my calm pretty well. From running in the MESAC Cross Country Competitions at the beginning of this month, to spontaneous Desert adventures on a Friday morning… #justDubaithings, and reaching 300 followers on Instagram, a lot has been happening.

In case you missed any of this months blog posts here’s a little review of what I’ve posted:

In my January post, I talked about being a bit overwhelmed with the beginning of the year, and jumping back into the craziness of school. But this month I think I have found a balance, and have been much more relaxed. In this post, I’ll tell you guys a bit about what I’ve changed up in my life, and what products I’ve been using a lot this month. I hope you enjoy!

Changing up the weekends

I mentioned on my Instagram yesterday, that I have really been taking some time to just relax and unwind on the weekends recently. In January I hardly got any weekends, as I always had something going on, and on the days I was home I was trying to finish all my homework. This month things have started to get a bit calmer, and I’ve really been enjoying getting some time to myself. If you know me at all, you will know that I am an organizational and scheduling freak, I like to get things done and I don’t like leaving tasks until the last minute. This month I really challenged myself to just CHILL OUT. Taking Friday mornings off, going out to eat breakfast, having a movie day with friends, or even driving around Dubai looking for camels (yes, weird right?) have just allowed me to regain that zen feeling and in fact I feel much more productive once I’ve had some time to myself.

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Maintaining a balance

Because I’ve been challenging myself to take it easy and live in the moment a lot more this month, I’ve come to feel a new sensation of balance. A balance between work and leisure. I give myself time to relax and do things that make me happy, but when it’s time to study I use my time effectively. I think this is much healthier than just being constantly on the go every day, and I feel so much happier and calmer about everything that’s going on in my life. I’m thinking of writing a post on finding balance soon, would you be interested?

Becoming one with… Nature?

I’ve always loved spending time outdoors and being surrounded by nature, and this month I’ve rekindled this love. I’ve been doing my homework outside, listening to the birds and the sound of water flowing, or even just sitting outside reading a book has been really relaxing. I’ve also got a few new plants on my desk which create a nice green space for me while I’m working, and thankfully they haven’t died yet. I think creating a natural and green environment can be really calming and also quite fresh and motivating if you do your work in it.

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This months scents

I’ve always been one of those people that has to create a nice environment to be able to be productive, and one of the things I like doing is burning a candle while I’m working. I’ve been loving the new aromatherapy scents from Bath & Body Works recently, they have blends such as ‘relax’ or ‘focus’ that smell AMAZING and last for a long time. I’ve also been really into my essential oils this month. Someone gave me an ‘energy’ one from Neal’s Yard Remedies for Christmas, and I got a ‘relaxing’ one from Bath & Body Works and I have been using them a lot this month. I like putting them on the insides of my wrists, and I usually use the ‘energy’ one before I do my homework, and the ‘relaxing’ one before I go to sleep. They’re a nice alternative to perfume, and you can never smell too good right?

Staying hydrated

Something that I’ve been doing almost every day is using my cup from Becky Broome and my reusable straw I got from Etsy and putting a bit of mint in my water, which changes it up a bit. It looks really cute, and also motivates me to drink more water throughout the day, so that’s always a positive!

Beauty Products

Lastly, I just wanted to talk about one makeup product that I’ve got back into using. I really don’t wear that much makeup, as I prefer the natural look. And when I do wear makeup it’s usually natural and non-toxic. But this month I dug out my old blush from Bobbi Brown and I’ve actually been loving it. I haven’t worn blush in a while and I forgot how much I like the way it looks. However, if anyone does have any recommendations for more natural beauty products I would really like to hear them! I’m always on the lookout for more natural products to try.

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That’s it! That’s everything that’s been going on with me this month, I hope you enjoyed. As always, please let me know if you liked this kind of post and if you like hearing about my life. Also please tell me what kind of blog posts you want to see in March, and I’ll get right on that. If anyone also has any natural beauty recommendations I would love to try them, let me know in the comments.

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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January In Review – What I’ve been loving, doing, and my favourites!

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe that January is already over, that went really quickly! This month has been a very busy one, with new years resolutions, starting school again, the end of one semester, and being well into the Cross Country Season. In this post, I’m going to share with you what products I’ve been using a lot this month, and what I’m loving. And I’ll also share what’s been going on in my life, and what’s coming in February. I hope you enjoy!

What Have I Been Loving?

Over the Winter Break, I made a conscious effort to start using more natural products on my skin, as I have really sensitive skin and I see a lot of benefits when I simplify what I use on my skin and use natural products. I already use natural make-up and cleansers (I wrote about them in this post if you’re interested) but I picked out a natural body wash and toothpaste, and I’ve been absolutely loving them!

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I wanted to make the change to a natural toothpaste because I realized how silly I was being, I care so much about what I eat and if it’s good for me, yet I was putting chemicals and artificial flavours into my mouth twice a day without really registering it. I was worried that this toothpaste would taste weird, but I’ve actually really been enjoying it and it doesn’t taste too bad.

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I also wanted to simplify the kind of body wash I use on my skin, and I’ve been noticing really good things since I started using this one. I usually get very dry skin during the winter, but this soap doesn’t seem to dry out my skin as much. And it smells amazing!! I did buy a natural shampoo and conditioner (from a different brand), but it was making my hair dry and coarse, does anyone have any recommendations?

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I started using a toner on my face and it’s been helping my skin a lot. It acts as an extra cleanse, and it helps reduce your pore size before you put on any makeup or moisturizer, which makes sure less bacteria gets into your skin. I still don’t have completely clear skin, but I have been noticing a huge difference since I started using a toner. I got this one from Clarins, and it’s the special one for sensitive skin, but they have lots of different options for different skin types. Do any of you use a toner, and if so do you see a difference?

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Another thing that I’ve been using a lot this month is my sleep mask and spray. I had never worn a sleep mask before this year because I always thought they were such a hassle, and I didn’t understand why someone would wear one in their own house? But let me tell you if you have a struggle falling asleep you need to invest in one of these. I’m a really sensitive sleeper, so once I see some light shining through my curtains, I’m immediately awake. During the week that’s okay because when I wake up, the sun isn’t really up yet. But on the weekends it’s very annoying because I can hardly ever sleep in past 7am because I find it too sunny. This sleep mask has been a lifesaver! Not only has it been allowing me to sleep for longer, but also I fall asleep much quicker now because once I put on my mask, my body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. I also got a new sleep spray over the break, which is meant to calm and relax you before you turn off the lights and go to sleep. I’ve been using a spray for a few years now, and I really recommend them, they create a nice environment and help you fall asleep more easily.

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One of my new years resolutions was to stress less and to start practicing meditation. And I’m proud to say that I have been sticking to the meditation part! No matter how stressed I’ve been getting during the day, before I go to bed, I make sure that I do a little bit of meditation so that I can relax and unwind. Insight Timer is a free app, and I have to say it’s my favourite meditation app out of all the ones I’ve tried. It’s kind of like a meditation Spotify, you can browse through hundreds of guided meditations for different amounts of time, and for specific things such as stress, or compassion, and pick which one you like. You can also freely meditate with a timer for as long as you want. I know meditation doesn’t sound like the coolest way to be spending your evening, but it really only takes 5 minutes, and it’s really helpful to me.

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Another really big part of my year so far has been my planner. I know I’m a nerd. But I love being organized! I make endless lists, plan out every hour of my day, and every day of my week. Before I got my planner, I did this on sticky notes and it was a bit annoying because I didn’t have them all in one place, and I didn’t have enough space to make notes. So I did a LOT of research to find the PERFECT PLANNER, one with a monthly view, and a page for each day where you can plan out your day by the hour, as well as a daily quote, and a place to write your daily goals and gratitude. I have literally been living through my planner, and it’s been taking a lot of stress off me because I don’t have to remember everything anymore. I got my planner from The Day Designer and I can not tell you how much I love it! Be sure to look at theirs if you need one for 2018.

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Lastly, because, of course, I need to include a little bit of food in this post. My favourite snack this month has been dates. I know, kind of random right? But in Dubai, we have dates everywhere, and they’re a really nice small sweet snack. I’ve been loving having them because they’re also really good for you, and I’ve been seeing great improvements in my digestion. I usually need something sweet after I eat dinner, and instead of eating a chocolate, eating a date is so much healthier!

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What Else Has Happened This Month?

Running:

If you’re one of my regular readers, you will know that at the beginning of this month I found out I had a stress injury. If you want to know more about this, I wrote a whole blog post explaining my injury in detail, you can find it here. But I’m not going to lie, that really put me off track for the start of the new year. I really love running, and not being able to run made me really sad and upset. I was also scared that all my hard work training would just go down the drain because I had to take so much time off. I was a miserable blob for a good few weeks, and I felt so useless and sorry for myself. But it taught me that in life you just have to accept that sometimes there are things that are out of your control. There was nothing I could do to be able to run, all I could do was work on recovering quickly.

One of my friends also told me something that really helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. Some of my best friends are on the Cross Country team with me, and we all support each other with whatever we’re going through. And my friend who has been injured for a while told me that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, but after a while, you have to stop because it just makes it worse. You can have one day to cry and feel bad about whatever is going on, but after that, you need to accept that there’s nothing you can do, and you need to be strong again. And that has really helped me this month , because if I didn’t stop thinking about it, it would have taken over my whole month.

I’ve been working hard ever since I was allowed to run again, and I was selected for the MESAC competition (Middle East, South Asia, Conference), basically a big Cross Country competition. And wow am I nervous! I am so happy and grateful that I was selected, but it’s next weekend and I’m starting to get very nervous. This year I’ve been pretty good at not letting my nerves take over before Cross Country competitions, but this is the biggest one I’ve ever had to compete in, and I’m already feeling nervous. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with nerves? And how to fuel up before a big race? I would love to hear them!

Semester 1 of School Is Over!

In other news, I’ve officially finished Semester 1 of my Sophomore year, and wow was that intense! Ever since I came back from Winter Break, it has been GO GO GO! With so many things happening, it was kind of overwhelming and challenging, but I’ve had this long weekend to relax and prepare for the next semester. I wrote a long post about it on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) yesterday, so take a look at that if you’re interested.

60 Followers On The Blog!

This month I hit 60 followers on my blog which is crazy!! I’m so grateful for each and every one of you that reads my posts and supports me. It’s amazing to think that I started this all from scratch almost 7 months ago, and it’s come this far. I love writing for you guys, and I hope you enjoy my content! I’m almost at 300 followers on my Instagram too, so hopefully when you read my February in Review post, I’ll be celebrating 300 Instagram followers!

And that wraps up my January in Review blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been using, and what’s been going on with me. Did you like this post? And do you want to see monthly posts like this one? Please let me know!

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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